'It's such a relief' says Jarrow gran as pharmacist sisters make home visit to give her Covid jab
June Newton was visited by Laura Rowley and Louise Lyndon as part of a project to treat those unable to leave their house.
The team of 22 pharmacists have volunteered to work weekends to make the visits and are hoping to have called into all 1,500 people on the South Tyneside housebound register by Sunday, February 7, ahead of schedule.
The Gazette is running the Shot in the Arm campaign, which is calling on the Government to use the skills of community pharmacists to help support the vaccination programme.
June, 87, spent 28 years as a teleprinter operator at Reyrolles, ran her own wool shop on Wansbeck Road and helped out on the school bus service to Epinay School.
She said: “It’s such a relief to get my first vaccine – my sister Judith and her husband Joe got theirs at The Glen, but I couldn’t manage the trip, so the phone call was very welcome.
“I was over the moon to be visited by Louise and Laura, as they grew up just two doors down from me and I remember them as little girls.
“Their late grandma Lily was a dear friend of mine and she would be so proud that they had given me my vaccine.”
Laura, who works with her sister at Jarrow’s Edinburgh Road Pharmacy, said: “When I heard we were vaccinating 1,500 housebound patients, it was just a number - but once you’re inside a patient’s home and they share their stories of how the pandemic has affected them, how much they miss their friends and family popping in, you see the person behind the number.
“It’s been a tremendous effort from so many pharmacists, and the uptake from patients has been very high.”
Around 500 ‘house-tied’ carers are also receiving vaccines through the scheme.
After the weekend, the team ensure those who were unable to get their jabs – such as those recovering from Covid – and the newly housebound are visited, ahead of the second round in 11 weeks’ time.
Anyone housebound or if someone is cared for and may have missed out are asked to contact their GP practice.